Pond hockey, nothing's cooler for a kid. We'd grab our sticks and wrap our skates around our bike handlebars and pedal wildly for the Coldwater creek behind our house. As we got bigger and better it was mom ferrying us out to Creve Couer Lake or Boenker's pond to play some good pond hockey with the older kids. We'd skate all day until we fell over from exhaustion.
Image courtesy of www.birthplaceofhockey.comI've been fortunate to skate at on some awesome outdoor rinks. One year someone flooded the tennis courts at St. Ann City Park and we played some epic hockey outside there until the city workers noticed we had destroyed the fencing around the courts from our slapshots with real pucks. Meisenbach Lake near Ramstein Germany reminded me of a Norman Rockwell setting, the forest and small lake nestled among the fine German architecture homes.
The first place I can remember skating was outside at Steinburg Rink in STL and Weed County Park in Muscatine Iowa. I was the quintessential helicopter and tripod that first year on ice. I'm here to tell you I had a freakin death grip on the boards the first skate or two. I don't even know if you could call those first trips a "skate", more like a hang on to the boards for dear life. They had them metal walker looking training things you could use when learning to skate but you'd be labeled a puss for life if caught using one. With pond hockey there was no boards, just piles of snow to fall into on the side. On a pond it was your first solo so to speak, no board umbilical cord.
Have you knocked the biscuit around outside somewhere? What are your memories of outdoor rinks?
Game time is 8pm EST on NBC.
For you early birds, HNIC is on at 7pm EST with the Leafs at Ottawa.